Last year when we were stuck in the hospital with Mason's numerous shunt revisions, my mom took Corbin on a cupcake adventure and they delivered the rest of them to the hospital when they came to visit Mason and I. This year we continued the tradition (without the hospital part-yay!)
What a difference a year makes! We had a great day. Mason enjoyed his gravy and own personal banana pudding but wasn't so sure about the cranberry sauce. The boys enjoyed wearing their turkey shirts that Gigi made them. What a blessed day!
As thanksgiving approaches I can't help but think back to this time last year. Mason had only been home a little bit and a year ago today we were sitting at Brenners ED because his head was leaking csf. The day after thanksgiving we were back and in for another shunt revision. My how God has blessed us this year!
In this year I have watched Mason grow and develop in leaps and bounds. Yes, he still has a long way to go but he continuously surprises everyone that works with him. I've watched Corbin grow into a smart boy who is coming out of his shell. I've returned to work, just part time and I'm blessed by this opportunity. Josh and I have grown closer through all we've been through. We are continuously thankful that God saved Mason and that he chose us to be the parents of these two sweet boys. We wouldn't have it any other way!
Tomorrow will be a joyous day for our family. Mason will be sampling gravy, cranberry sauce, and banana pudding. He is loving high flavor foods and smiles over and over as he eats. Our family will be together and so thankful for our new start we've been given and many years to come. May you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
I know this is late but I just wanted to extend an invitation out to all of you who prayed for our boy. Mason is getting dedicated tomorrow morning at Westover Church at around 9:15 a.m. and we would love to have you there. Your prayers and God's faithfulness is what has gotten us to this point today. It is a day of celebration! If you would like to come and need more details, please private message me at email@example.com
So, when Corbin was 5 months old we took pictures of him in a pumpkin. Of course, the tradition had to continue with Mason (even though I wasn't sure he would cooperate since he hasn't felt great since his recovery from his adenoidectomy. Luckily he woke up from his nap in a good mood and tolerated being stuffed in a pumpkin! We sure had to get a big one!
He has learned to smile with his tongue out. His brother went through this stage too.
This year's Great pumpkins. Yes, that is our oldest in the background with tiger pj pants on inside out and boots. Cause that's how we roll around the Matthews' house.
On Sunday afternoon, we headed to our local pumpkin patch to find a pumpkin. Mason still wasn't feeling fantastic but we had checked out the weather and knew it was going to be cooler this week so we better go ahead. Here are some pictures!
We are headed home! Mason is doing great this morning and has been off oxygen since 3 am. Yesterday they ended up putting tubes in because there was a small amount of fluid in his ears. They performed the sedated ABR as well. It was confirmed that Mason has a severe loss in his left ear but his right ear is normal. He does have some difficulty in his right ear hearing high frequency sounds (such as f,s,th) but not enough to intervene at this time. We will continue to following his hearing in other future procedures.
They also removed his adenoids because they were very large. The ENT was hopeful that this would improve Mason's mucous problems. There might be a week or so where he sounds or seems worse off as he is healing. He does have some slight/mild laryngomalacia (which is a soft or floppy area around the wall of the larynx) but nothing he shouldn't outgrow. Overall, we are very thankful and praying this will help us move forward with feeding and getting rid of the excess in mucous. Thanks to everyone for their prayers!
Mason and I waiting for a room in PACU recovery. We are waiting for a room. Mason was requiring o2 after surgery due to swelling of his airway after the adenoids removal. They said he lost a lot of blood and they wanted to watch him overnight. We will post more later but are hopeful to come home tomorrow. Thanks for your prayers!
Tomorrow we have a procedure at Chapel Hill. We are scheduled for a sedated ABR hearing test and scope, and adenoid removal. They are going to scope (and remove his adenoids) in hopes to try to find out where all of this mucous is coming so that we can move forward in fixing it and getting Mason to eat. All of this is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. We would greatly appreciate your prayers and will definitely keep everyone posted. Please pray for a speedy recovery from the anesthesia, coming off the vent quickly, wisdom and guidance for the dr. and nurses, and that we would get some answers that would point us in the right direction! Thanks! Will update again tomorrow but will leave you with this sweet smile!
This year we were all able to go to the Fair and we had a great time! Corbin ride a ton of rides this year and would have kept on going but we ran out of tickets! Mason was a trooper and enjoyed riding the merry go round. We had a great time!
Today Mason officially turned 1 year old! He was due last year on Sept. 16th (even though he decided to come way early). He is doing so well and we are so proud of him and all of his hard work!
He finally has teeth! You can see them a little bit in this picture. He has had them for about 2 weeks. We are really seeing a great improvement with his glasses. It has really helped all of his skills. He is really trying hard to sit up and just needs to get those back muscles stronger. His head control is pretty amazing. He has had a couple of times where he is on his tummy and he can hold himself up really well (I never thought we'd see the day)! He can put some good weight on his legs when working on sit to stand and when in the exersaucer! And he is using both hands (including lefty) more and more!
Mason is also becoming more vocal. He will squeal and growl to express his opinion. It just keeps increasing more and more. He still isn't quite truly "babbling" yet but he says a lot of da, ka, and ga. He is so in tune to noises and listening to everything and is truly the happiest baby I have ever known. He loves to hear counting and "mama" and "dada". Those words are the funniest things he has ever heard.
And feeding...well, that is still a struggle and we need prayers. I haven't written a lot about it because we have tried so many different things that haven't seemed to work. Since May, Mason developed mucous that was due to a cold that we all had at the time. The cold went away but the mucous never did. When Mason tries to eat it is like he can't tolerate the food and the mucous together so he gags and throws up. This cycle has caused him to NOT like eating at all (don't say that I blame him)! So we are doing a sedated procedure at Chapel Hill on Oct. 18th. We are doing a sedated ABR (which is a hearing test) and a scope to see what is going on and where is all this mucous coming from. The ABR test is something we have needed to have done for a while just to keep track of Mason's hearing but with the scope we are hoping that maybe his adenoids might be swollen or we might find something that is the cause of all of this mucous. We have tried several different nasal sprays to try to cure it but the only thing that really seems to help is Afrin (which you can't give long term). So we are praying for some answers with this procedure. Even though I REALLY don't want to put Mason to sleep again I feel like this is necessary to get some answers and to get this child eating by mouth! Thank you as always for your prayers! We will keep you posted for sure but I will leave with a big smile from this sweet boy!
Wanted to do a quick update and show you Mason's new glasses. He just got them this week and has been trying to adjust to them. Most of the time he does well but there are times he will become annoyed with them (especially when it is nearing nap time or bed time). It does seen to be helping though. Yesterday Josh was holding him and looking in the mirror and he was looking at himself and would smile and then hide his face. We will see!
Tonight we attended Women hospital's nicu reunion. It was great to see some of the people that were there for us during the beginning of our journey. We also want to thank everyone else again for all of your prayers and support! It really means a lot and we appreciate your continued prayers as Mason is developing. We got to hang out with Mason's first "room mate" Rhodes. We unfortunately never got their picture together while in the NICU but we did tonight!
Mason has been "talking" more and more here lately. It is so interesting to hear his voice. I finally got some of it on video (even though the quality is poor). Usually he is talking away and then when I turn on the video he stops. Typical. At the end of the video he says, "Dada." Yay for our sweet boy!
This afternoon we headed down to the pool for some fun! Corbin's best buddy, James even got to come. The boys had fun splashing in the water and climbing up and down the ladder. Of course, they still had their eye on the playground!
Mason enjoyed some pool action as well! He seems to like the water now and today, he realized he could kick in the water! And he was kicking both legs (remember brain bleed, meningitis). Below is a short video:
Hope everyone is enjoying what is left of their summer!
I plan to update soon! Sorry, we've been enjoying our summer. Just wanted to share this picture tonight. Mason is working hard on learning how to sit. You can tell from the pic that sitting up takes a lot of concentration! We are doing well! Promise a longer, more detailed update is coming soon!
Tonight Mason is receiving the last bag of breastmilk. I am a little sad but glad it has made it this far! He has been receiving half formula and half breastmilk for quite sometime to try to help with reflux. Now we are on to complete formula. Atleast he got his "liquid gold" for quite some time!
As we take this time to remember our Father's in our life I am so thankful for my husband, Josh. He is a wonderful, loving, and giving father. Corbin and Mason and I are blessed to have him in our lives! We are blessed to have his strength when we were weak this past year but most of all we are blessed because of his positive attitude. I can count on one hand the times I have seen him frustrated or even upset (and remember we have been married 7 years and have known each other for 8 years). His positive attitude and overall trust in God was key in this past year with our boys. We love you!
And to all of our Fathers (or otherwise now known as Ray Ray, Peepaw, Papa Jump, Pop Pop, and Papaw) we just want you to know that your support and love has meant so much this year. You have been there with us through thick and thin and we love you all. These men (and others not pictured who have already passed) helped to make us who we are today. We love you all very much and wish you Happy Father's Day!
Today we celebrated Corbin's 3rd and Mason's 1st birthday. We are thankful to those who came out with us to celebrate! I will post a lot more pictures later but I had to share this video. I wasn't even going to try any cake with Mason but I decided to go ahead and he loved it. He dug his hands in and finally fed himself! He definitely thought it was good!
We are thankful that today went well. Josh and I loaded up the car early this morning and headed to Chapel Hill. Overall, we are encouraged by what they had to say. They made A LOT of changes but the goal is to get him more comfortable in his tummy in an effort to decrease the gag so that Mason will want to oral feel. It was VERY interesting to participate in this being an SLP. This team was great and they really think that they can help Mason (and have seen numerous kids like him). The encouraging thing is he does LOVE to put things in his mouth and is very tolerant of exercises, etc. So what we are going to work on right now is for his tongue to become more like a spoon instead of thrusting forward when you go in his mouth. It is like he is trying to push against whatever is entering in his mouth (he doesn't do this when HE puts stuff in his mouth so my philosophy on this is it is part of his oral aversion because he is trying to take his tongue get what he considers "bad" things out of his mouth). He will move food back but his initial reaction is to thrust his tongue forward. We are going to continue to taste purees 2-3 times a day giving cheek and jaw support and lots of oral motor. And they completely changed around his feeding schedule which is exciting! He was still eating every 3 hours which is a lot considering he just turned 1 (almost 9 months adjusted). We have a long way to go but we will get there! We will be commuting again 2 times a month for the next few months for therapy and hopefully we will get some speech therapy started at home as well to carryover these skills (of course I'm going to do my best at this as well)! So we were encouraged and Mason was his usual charming self, so of course they feel in love! Thank you for your prayers! We've got to get this boy eating!
I am requesting prayers tonight as we prepare for a big day tomorrow. We are headed to Chapel hill to meet with their feeding team to hopefully move forward in helping Mason take by mouth. We have been doing trials of baby food and he often will gag and throw up during feeds. We are praying they can help us move in the right direction to strengthen his oral muscles. He finally began with OT last week and that went well and she was encouraged with his skills. His gag reflex is just very sensitive! But it doesn't seem to bother him. He just keeps on going and smiling!
I love that this boy is so happy! He cracks me up! He is also so chatty now! And check out this brother love. I know the picture quality isn't great but I love their sweet faces!
Thanks for your prayers! I will update tomorrow once we know something!
We continue to celebrate this year of Mason's life. My mom made a video of pictures from his life. I remember that this song (Never Once by Matt Redmond) spoke to me during the hard times of Mason's journey and today we sang it in church. I was reminded that God was carrying us and with us through everything we endured this past year. And now He is with us as we celebrate! What a blessing! Hope you enjoy this video. It brought back A LOT of memories for us!
Tonight my heart is filled with joy and overflowing with love. Joy for a wonderful year and love for so many sweet souls that have prayed and cried and prayed some more for our family and for our sweet child. A year ago tonight my heart was filled with many feelings. It was evident that the labor was not going to stop. I was hurting and frustrated with my body. Numbers and statistics were being told to us. The pressure of wanting us to make a decision...did we want any medical help present; did we just want to enjoy our last few moments together? It all seemed a blur. But somehow I had a peace. Even through all the feelings of fear and sadness. God was there. And has been by our families side through the events of this past year.
Born at 23 weeks; 1 lb. 5 oz.
Tonight, I look at this sweet little baby who is wild and fiery with life, kicking and grabbing with yes, all 2 arms and 2 legs and my heart is full. We are so blessed. He came out fighting not giving the dr. any choice. He was fighting to breathe and crying. As the days and weeks went on Mason never gave up. And our prayers never gave up and most importantly we never gave up on God or Mason. My son shows me daily that prayers can work and that miracles still happen. His smile lights up our life. He continues to amaze everyone at his progress. Most of all he is the most happiest precious little (well now big) baby I know.
Mason at 1 year old (8 months adjusted)
Today we celebrate that Mason is alive. His odds of life were 10%. There were numerous times we heard: he's not going to make it or IF he DOES make it his outcome will not be good. We are thankful over a million times that our son made it. Our God defied the odds and our little boy is alive. Our God is continuing to defy the odds as He is working in our and Mason's life every day. Today, Mason weighs 18 lbs., continues to work on rolling over, has almost mastered head control and his overall core strength has improved tremendously. He is using both hands and continues to use his left hand more and more. He is kicking his legs like crazy and can put weight down on his legs. His vision continues to improve greatly! He laughs, smiles, spits, blows raspberries with us and is mimicking our sounds and beginning to say, "ahh da, ga, ka and numerous other noises. His swallow study last week showed he is safe on baby food but does need his liquids thickened to nectar (if he would ever decide to take the bottle again). We are going to Chapel Hill's feeding team for some help. He continues to still show no spasticity of flaccid movements in any limbs and all of this is a testament to our God. Thank you to everyone for continuing on this journey with us. This past year has certainly not been easy. But I wouldn't trade it at all because we are blessed with 2 wonderful boys.
I could have never imagined this time last year that we would be laughing with our little boy as we tickle him. What a sweet and precious blessing he is to our lives. Hope you enjoy this video (if you can't view it on mobile search on youtube "Daddy's beard tickles Mason":